If I really had the courage of my convictions, I'd quit reading bestsellers. I'd seek out books I'd never heard of but which sound interesting.
I recently read "Ready Player One" and while it was very enjoyable I had the same reaction I often have; does this book deserve to suck up all the oxygen in the room? Reading bestsellers is hit or miss, sometimes good but not special, sometimes just ok, sometimes pretty bad.
So if it's going to be hit or miss anyway, why not take chances on other books? Look at the subject matter and the style and try something out that is unexpected.
I already stay away from bandwagons when I perceive them as such. Sometimes, I find an author I really like who then becomes a bestseller, George R.R. Martin for instance. I'd read every book he'd ever written before Game of Thrones, which I almost passed on because I as burned out on fantasy, but Linda read it and loved it so...
What becomes obvious from both the buying and selling aspect is the publishing world is focused on the big book. They want bestsellers or nothing at all.
Every reader ought to have the experience of buying from book liquidators. They're available to the general public, but I don't know if many people use them except stores. Anyway, when you see book after book after book that is trying to be Twilight, or Lee Child, or Gone Girl, it gets a little nauseating. I know from personal experience that in many of these cases the author isn't at fault: the publisher is probably positioning a book that is close in subject and trying to wedge it in. Though, sometimes a few years after a big bestseller, there is an avalanche of copies which can be blamed on the authors, poor saps. What pride do they have?
Classics are a little different. They've passed the test of time.
As a science fiction reader, I can point to a couple of dozen authors who are good, sometimes great, and yet have never gotten their due. I recommend them and the customers often look at me blankly and say, "Do you have the newest..." whatever YA is the flavor this year.
Sadly, some of these bestselling authors just start phoning it in. Whatever made them interesting is gone. Trapped by their successful formula; but formula it is.
I'm trapped somewhat as a store owner, but I don't have to be trapped as a reader.
6 days ago